[kuh-men-suh-liz-uh m]


Ecology. a type of relationship between two species of a plant, animal, fungus, etc., in which one lives with, on, or in another without damage to either.
Sociology. peaceful coexistence among individuals or groups having independent or different values or customs.

Origin of commensalism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for commensalism

Historical Examples of commensalism

Word Origin and History for commensalism

1870, from commensal + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for commensalism




A symbiotic relationship in which one organism derives benefit and the other is unharmed.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for commensalism



A symbiotic relationship between two organisms of different species in which one organism derives benefit while the other is unaffected. Examples of commensalism include epiphytic plants, which depend on a larger host plant for support but which do not derive any nourishment from it, and remoras, which attach themselves to sharks and feed on their leavings without appreciably hindering their hosts. Compare amensalism mutualism parasitism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.